Mon, 25 Feb 2019, 19:00
Newspeak House, London (UK), Newspeak House, 133 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 7DG
Event at Newspeak House, London
Paolo Gerbaudo (author), Anastasia Kavada (University of Westminster), Adam Klug (Momentum co-founder), Matteo Canestrari (digital politics expert).
From the Five Star Movement to Podemos, from the Pirate Parties to La France Insoumise, from the movements behind Bernie Sanders to those backing Jeremy Corbyn, the last decade has witnessed the rise of a new blueprint for political organisation: the digital party.
Paolo Gerbaudo will discuss the transformation of political parties in the digital era, drawing on the argument of his new book The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy, with scholars and practitioners of digital politics.
In the book Gerbaudo addresses the organisational revolution that is transforming political parties in the time of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Cambridge Analytica. Drawing on interviews with political leaders and organisers, he demonstrates that besides rapidly growing in votes, these formations have also revitalised party democracy, involving hundreds of thousands in discussions carried out on online decision-making platforms.
Participatory, yet plebiscitarian, open and democratic, yet dominated by charismatic ‘hyperleaders’, digital parties display both great potentials and risks for the development of new forms of mass participation in an era of growing inequality. All political parties will have to reckon with the lessons of the digital party.
Paolo Gerbaudo is a political sociologist and the Director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London. He is the author of The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy (2018), The Mask and the Flag: Populism and Global Protest (2017) and Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism (2012).